The presence of mycotoxins in cereals has led to large economic losses in Europe. In the course of the European project MyToolBox, prevention and control measures to reduce mycotoxin contamination in cereals were developed. This study aimed to estimate the impact of these prevention and control measures on both the reduction in crop losses and the increased volume of crops suitable for food and/or feed. It focused on the following measures: the use of fungicides during wheat cultivation, the use of resistant maize cultivars and/or biocontrol during maize cultivation, the use of real time sensors in storage silos, the use of innovative milling strategies during the pasta making process, and the employment of degrading enzymes during the process of bioethanol and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) production. The impact assessment was based on the annual volume of cereals produced, the annual levels of mycotoxin contamination, and experimental data on the prevention and control measures collected in the course of the MyToolBox project. Results are expressed in terms of reduced volumes of cereals lost, or as additional volumes of cereals available for food meeting the current European legal limits. Results showed that a reduction in crop losses as well as an increase in the volume of crops suitable as food and/or feed is feasible with each proposed prevention or control measure along the supply chain. The impact was the largest in areas and in years with the highest mycotoxin contamination levels but would have less impact in years with low mycotoxin levels. In further research, the impact assessment may be validated using future data from more years and European sites. Decision makers in the food and feed supply chain can use this impact assessment to decide on the relevant prevention and control strategies to apply.
- Food Science
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health